Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ramos Mejia- Week #78

Merry Christmas !!!!!!

YO YO YO YO YO HEY HO HO HO HO HO HO FAMILY!!!!!!!! Or as Elder Don Spaniard Anderson would say, ¿que tal vosotros? Or as Elder Ng Anderson would say, Comusta? M´bouti…ng…grignak

Well, I got my package! It was…suuuuwweeeeeeet! Thank you! I loved the ties. They were more conservative than years past, yet very classy. The mango liquorice is already gone…oops…and the peppermint toffee is dwindling rapidly. Also the Winnie the Pooh ornament from Lacey is sitting on my desk as well as the coolest thing I have every seen in my life – the miniature Hyrum and Joseph statue. I am pretty sure it all got here in one piece. It was great . I was going to wait until Christmas, but only lasted about 3 days. Plus, I listened to the tape you sent me and Mom told me half of everything that was there, so I figured I had waited long enough. Thanks again, it was great! I think we will go to a member´s house for Christmas Eve, and then we have been invited to President´s house for Christmas Day, so I am pretty grateful for that. It should be really nice. As far as the call goes, I am planning on calling around 7 my time…I will let Dad figure out what it is your time…I don´t really know the exact schedule of the day, but that is the plan…I would be by the phone anyway just in case. I think we all remember what happened on Mother´s Day…Argentines still love Obama as far as I know…but more than anything the World Cup is the topic of conversation already. The brackets for group play were released and Argentina got a great draw, so they are pretty happy. USA plays England first…great…

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all whom I will not be talking to on the phone. We had our mission Christmas party, but I will save that until the end because there are some other matters to cover first. I almost died again this week…ha, not really. But seriously, it was a potentially life threatening situation. We were calling it a day, and walked into the pench only to find on the wall the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life (in the wild) just hanging out (no pun intended). It was only slightly smaller than a tarantula. I am not sure how it got there, especially because I have never seen anything like that in Argentina, despite the South American stereotypes you hear about. We decided it needed to be captured…and thus started a sequence of war councils and videos taken on cameras of us fighting against the eight-legged spawn of darkness that had infiltrated our humble sanctuary. Elder Maxwell first took a broom to it, and I kid you not, the spider straight up attacked the broom! It like grabbed for it and latched on, so we retreated for a bit, because it wouldn’t be a great start to the war if our best weapon fell into enemy hands so quickly. I know I am just joking around right now, but in the moment I was literally frightened. The thing moved like lightning, and could jump! I kept my distance until I was called to the front lines…Elder Maxwell gave me a bucket and I was instructed to “get it”. So we blocked off its best escape route and I ascended a few stairs until I could see its eyes…and then I lunged like I have never lunged before while letting out a loud “BYAH!” They had to amputate a finger because of the amount of is on the way.

So P-day Navideño was really good this year. I thought last year was good because I didn’t know any different, but now looking back, last year wasn’t that great. This year the skits were so good. We as a staff danced to Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano. Each member of the staff had about 15 seconds to freestyle…and well…I figured I would pay tribute to Michael…so I did a small rendition of the Thriller dance during my solo. It didn’t turn out very well though, I didn’t really practice it, and Feliz Navidad doesn’t exactly have the ideal beat to pull something like that off, but it was fun anyway. There were a few more Michael tributes in other zones. A few Moonwalks, which were sweet. So I had a really great time. We bought 90 kilos of meat…that is like…over a pound per person, so there was plenty to eat. As my white elephant gift I gave away some inflatable toy, and I received…dry erase board markers…merry Christmas? Haha well I guess that is the beauty of white elephant gifts. Every meeting that we have with the mission, I am in charge of all the audio and video stuff, so I always have to contact the stake high council member in charge of technology to get the keys for everything. Well I have never touched the stuff in the cultural hall or the stage, and everyone was asking me how they could get music and microphones for their skits so that was kind of stressful, but it all worked out. After a few minutes of seeing what little red buttons did, I figured it out. Time will tell if I did any lasting damage.

So things with Lucio are looking great for this weekend! Even though I am in gross humid sticky weather, we will still be having a “White Christmas” in Ramos Mejía. So that is going to be a great memory from my mission. We taught Lucio Monday night with our Bishop. It went alright. Our Bishop here has never liked us that much because we are office elders. He loves us on the weekends we baptize, but usually just ignores us, or chews us out in Ward Council. So he has really been pushing for this baptism, so we decided to give him the opportunity to participate in the teaching process, but it was kind of awkward. He was like a supervisor. He just sat there and texted on his phone the whole lesson…but after 7 ½ months of working with him it doesn’t really faze me. Elder Palacios was frustrated with him though. Also some more shocking news. At the end of this transfer the Secretaries are changing areas to Haedo 1 (home of Elder Zivic of the 70) because the Bishop there has declared that no more baptisms will take place until the sister missionaries leave. I am not sure he knows that is irreverent, considering he has no authority to halt saving ordinances, nor decide which missionaries are in his ward, but nevertheless we are swapping. The sisters in that ward are doing great, too, so I am not sure why he is so angry. Anyway, side effect of that is that our bishop here in Ramos couldn’t be happier. Haha it is some kind of messed up cycle. I mean, this ward has seen more success than any other six month period in the history of the Buenos Aires West mission (I know because I checked all the way back to the first baptism) but he isn’t happy with us, and it kind of feels like we are getting kicked out…which is childish, I know, but could we just work together? When we do well it is “Good job members, way to participate in the missionary work.” And then when we go a week without having a baptismal date it is, “oh the elders are lazy sitting all day in the office.” But like I said, I am used to it now after five transfers here. Long story short, we will be the last elders to serve in Ramos Mejía for some time. I am happy with my service here, the miracles I have seen, and the impression the people have had on me. I can honestly say that it has been in this area that I truly learned how to love the people of Argentina. I thought I did before, but now I can see the difference. It is a deeper, and more pure…or purer…I am not sure…but it makes me feel warm inside…ha. Ok basta. I feel like this ward is my home.

So anyway, that is about all that happened this week. Talk to you on Friday!

Elder Gilmore

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